System of Graduation

Rodrigo – Jiu-Jitsu & Yoga

General rules for graduation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students

March 2018

Traditionally, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools had a graduation system based on competitiveness, the tougher student will be awarded a belt for beating his training mates and winning a competition. The teacher was deciding when the graduation happened and sometimes his personal relationship with one particular student was weighting in at the moment of promotion, for good or bad. This system has some good features tough, it avoids the stifness of belt exams and it favors the individuality of each student in his/her particular way. The downside is that it lets the student very dependent on the teacher's mood. Nowadays, big BJJ schools organize another way of promoting students: with graduation seminars. In my opinion, this has a downside (and I already have seen this happening): many students create big expectations for the day and at the end, they still don't get their belts, they become frustrated and leave the school.

I have decided to make a mix of all the systems, taking what I think it's the best of each one.

I believe that it is important for every student to understand what (s)he needs to learn in order to walk forward. I also believe that each one has their own individuality and will decide to develop a certain style more than another. There is, however, a minimum of technical skills that should be common to everybody, a conduct inside the Dojo, a minimum amount of classes, and participation to seminars expected. Competing, visiting seminars and training camps are also very highly recommended for upgrading your belt color or getting your next stripe.

General Rules

  1. A minimum of techniques and credits are required for the upcoming belt
  2. About the credit system*:
    1. Every class: 1 credit
    2. Private class: 3 credits
    3. Participation on seminars and training camps: each hour will be 1 credit
    4. Participation in competitions: each match will be 1 credit
  3. Good conduct on the mat will be seriously evaluated, read the guidelines for more information
  4. Judo Black Belts automatically will receive 3 stripes, they must train actively for at least 6 months before a blue belt promotion.
  5. After the student reaches the necessary amount of credits, the Professor will do the "call for the belt exam"


*Please, register at:
  For each event, please sign up at:

Belt Ranks

Belt Rank for students under 15 years of age

Belt Rank for students over 16 years of age


Our minimum age requirements follow the recommendations of IBJJF (General System of Graduation - Article 2)  

Minimum age requirements according to IBJJF
Minimum age requirements according to IBJJF

According to the IBJJF rules of minimum age:

The minimum age for the athlete to be eligible to change belt is the age he or she has completed or will complete in the current year, following the formula: current year - birth year = age of the athlete. In the year that the athlete turns 16 years of age, he or she must be placed in the Belt system from the Article 1.1. He or she will be promoted to the new rank according to the belt he has: White Belt – Remains in White Belt; Grey Belt, Yellow Belt, Orange Belt – turns to Blue Belt; Green Belt – turns Blue or Purple Belt according to professor’s decision.

Minimum requirements

Upcoming Blue Belt
Total of credits: 150
Download the printed version of your requirements:
Requirements for Upcoming Blue Belts - 2018
In the white belt level, you should learn the basics of:
  • Basic movements
  • Basic Self-defense
  • Position names: Mount, Back Mount, Closed Guard, Open Guard, Side Control, Knee on Belly, etc.
  • Getting in shape

First Stripe

  • Closed Guard (Basic sweeps/submissions)
  • Mount (including escapes)

Second Stripe

  • Back Mount (including escapes)
  • Closed Guad Opening - Concepts of Guard pass

Third Stripe

  • Side Control (including escapes)
  • Takedowns
  • Guard Retention
  • Turtle

Forth Stripe

  • Review of all topics above
Upcoming Purple Belts
Total of credits: 325 More Details coming soon
Upcoming Brown Belts
Total of credits: 375 More details coming soon    
Upcoming Black Belts
Total of credits: 425
More details coming soon.

Call for the Belt Exam

After fulfilling the prerequisites for the next level, the Professor will be randomly asking questions during the training. The evaluation time might take a few classes (days or weeks). Competitors can be waiting longer or shorter times, depending on his/her objectives.

A sign that you are being tested is when:

  • You are asked direct questions regarding a position or technique
  • You are asked to help a new student with a basic movement
  • You are often invited for a regular sparring with the professor


If you come around 2.5 times a week, you may be able to earn your Black Belt within 8 to 10 years of practice.
By doing this way, I believe that we have a few advantages:

  • You won’t be left entirely dependent on the Professor's own judgment
  • Teachings are unified in a system
  • Your learning process will become easier and faster
  • You know exactly what is necessary to learn and when
  • You know where you are in your journey and how long you need to reach the next level
  • We, as a team will keep an excellent quality standard


Other topics regarding the Belt Exam:

  • The Exam is for free
  • A certificate costs 5 € (it's not needed)
  • You need to buy your own belt afterwards
  • You promotion will be carried out in a cerimony with Professor Rodrigo (DOJO Headcoach) and Master Rico (CheckMat Headcoach)
  • You will be registered at the IBJJF as CheckMat International.

If you have any questions regarding the graduation system, please write us an email at: [email protected]